Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes’ father-in-law went incognito as a “concerned citizen” and chatted up the media during jury selection at her federal trial, according to an NPR report. On Tuesday, tech reporter Bobby Allyn revealed this bit of intrigue, which seems fitting for a Silicon Valley startup said to have run on secrecy, deception and the monitoring of its own employees. According to Allyn, San Diego hotel kingpin Bill Evans, dad to Holmes’ husband Billy, entered the California courthouse wearing a baseball cap and puffer jacket and introduced himself as “Hanson.” The mystery man told journalists that he “fix[ed] up old cars for a living” and was there as a media watchdog. Asked if he knew Holmes, the man allegedly said, “Do I know her? Does anyone know her? What does it even mean to know someone these days?” He added: “No journalist has ever told the real story about her.”
But when opening arguments began one week later, reporters spotted “Hanson” among the relatives escorting Holmes into the building. This time, the man was wearing a suit. “He claimed to go by ‘Hanson,’ but he had a different name on his Starbucks cup,” one CNN reporter noted, adding that he wore expensive Italian loafers. When Allyn later reached the 61-year-old for comment, he said, “People have nicknames and you can be free to use them. On that note, I'll say goodbye.” Holmes is charged with defrauding investors and patients in connection to Theranos’ blood analyzer devices, which she claimed could run scores of tests with the prick of a finger.